Legends Of Tomorrow Recap And Review – S01E05 – “Fail-Safe”


“Fail-Safe” — the fifth episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow proves that the prison escape formula can still be fresh and exciting.  With a combination of great action, effects, and compelling emotional journeys, “Fail-Safe” is another top-notch installment.

Legendary Recap: Martin is in Star Labs going over his Firestorm Matrix formula with Cisco.  Martin knows that something is up.  It’s soon discovered that everything is a ruse created by Vostok in order for her to get Martin’s help.  Martin vows to never give the Soviets anything.

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In the Waverider’s medical ward, a recovering Jax feels Martin’s fear, and blames himself for Martin’s capture.  On the bridge, Rip, Sara, and Leonard go over the prison plans with Gideon.  Seeing no other options, Sara suggest turning to the Russian Mob for help.

At a bathhouse, Rip and Leonard approach a mob boss and request his assistance.  The boss calls his bodyguards, but Sara intervenes and quickly takes them out.  A fight breaks out between Rip and the boss.  However, when the boss sees that Sara single-handedly took out his men, he agrees to help the team out of respect.

At the prison, an optimistic Ray greets prisoners and thinks that they’ll be able to gather information for an escape.

Back on the Waverider, Rip solidifies plans to break the rest of the team out of prison.  However, he wants Jax and Kendra to stay behind because of their value to the timestream.  Rip then gives Sara a secret side-mission — if they fail to retrieve Martin, she is to kill him so that the Soviets never rise to power.  Hesitant at first, Sara agrees after she sees Gideon’s projection of an apocalyptic Star City if Vostok and Vandal were to succeed.  As Sara and Leonard suit up, Leonard confronts Sara about Rip’s contingency plan.

Mick and Ray are in the prison yard where they receive their daily meals.  Ray sees an old man and hopes to gain some information from him.  To Mick’s protest, Ray still approaches him.  The old man openly talks at first, but he’s quickly silenced by large imposing inmates.  Ray’s attempts at protecting the old man get him severely beaten.

Jax again starts to feel Martin’s feelings of abandonment and anxiety.  Kendra suggest sending Martin a message.  Jax exploits the connection between him and Martin.  Using a knife, Jax carves a message into his own arm which soon appears on Martin’s.

Ray finally comes to consciousness after his beating.  Asking Mick why he didn’t help him, Mick reveals that he only looks after himself and Leonard.  Guards soon approach and take the two to a new location.

Rip arrives at the gulag’s gates dressed as a guard.  Meanwhile, Sara and Leonard sneak over a fence.

Vandal meets Martin and tortures Mick and Ray in front of him.  When the guard is about to beat Mick, Ray intervenes and purposely irritates the guard.  The guard ends up severely beating Ray.  Martin, unable to stand by and watch, breaks and agrees to help Vandal and Vostok.

Sara pretends to be a dead body as Leonard wheels her into the gulag.  Coincidentally, he spots Ray and Mick as they’re being led back into their cells.  Sara heads for her station, but Leonard deviates from the plan and goes after Mick and Ray.

In their cell, Mick questions why Ray would take a beating for him.  Ray tells him that the saving of a teammate is what he values the most.

Gideon gives Rip an update and projects that the US will lose the Cold War.  Rip tells Sara that she needs to extract Martin before he reaches the lab.  If she is unable to, she’ll need to kill him.

Jax and Kendra insist on being part of the mission.  Rip refuses at first, but the two finally convince him on a viable plan.  It will involve Kendra flying Jax into the gulag.  After that, he will sprint to an electrical box and cut power to the entire prison.

Leonard finds Mick and breaks him out.  But Mick, feeling guilty, refuses to leave Ray behind.

As Martin finishes the formula for Vostok, she starts to sense that he’s hiding something.  Grabbing his arm, Vostok discovers the message Jax sent Ray.  She quickly deduces that Martin is actually half of Firestorm, which gives her the idea that she will merge with Martin herself.

Sara takes aim as Martin is being led to the chamber.  Rip quickly communicates to Sara and tells her to forget about the fail-safe.  At that moment, she sees Kendra fly Jax in.  While in the process of running, Jax is shot in the leg.  But he’s successful and manages to shutdown the power, opening all the cell doors.

Martin is forced into the chamber where Vostok comes in contact with him.  The two merge and become Firestorm with Vostok being the dominant half.  He urges her to separate because their unstable form will end up killing them both.

Vandal finds Kendra, but soon discovers that it was a trap when Rip appears and holds a gun to his head.  Rip retrieves the pocketwatch that was taken from him in “Blood Ties.”  As Rip leaves, he detonates a bomb, killing Vandal … for now.

With the prison now out of control and rioting, Vostok emerges as Firestorm.  Jax runs towards her, but is initially blasted back.  He calls to Martin and urges him to use his willpower.  On a second attempt, Jax touches Vostok and frees Martin.  Vostok then becomes unstable.  The team escapes on the jumpship just as Vostok explodes.

The team, reunited, is back on the Waverider traveling through the timestream.  Their celebration is soon interrupted with an attack by Chronos.  Rip launches countermeasures which are able to take Chronos out.  However, an already fired missile hits the Waverider and blasts them out of the timestream.

They emerge out of an alleyway on an apocalyptic world in 2046.  Sara is able to identify their location as Star City.  An archer confronts them and commands them to stop.  At first, the team thinks it’s the Green Arrow.  But the archer quickly draws his bow and reveals himself to be somebody else.

Next: Catch up on Legends of Tomorrow with a recap of 'White Knights'

Legendary Moment(s): Jax speaking to Martin and giving him the strength he needed to break from Vostok.  Also, this may not have been a scene filled with action, but we just discovered that Ray Palmer can probably give Deadpool a run for his money in terms of insults.  Gotta love how Ray ran his mouth to the torturer.

Thoughts for Tomorrow: I think Stephanie Corneliussen hit it out of the park with her portrayal of Valentina Vostok.  Will she make an appearance somewhere else in the Arrow-verse as Negative Woman?  And maybe one day even become the new leader of Checkmate as the White Queen?